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Updated: 9 hours 17 min ago

William Faulkner Makes Us Wonder: What's So Great About Poetry, Anyhow?

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 8:03am

William Faulkner — one of the great American novelists — thought of himself as a failed poet. Which made our critic Juan Vidal wonder: What is it about poetry that makes us hold it above other arts?

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Rome's Might Meets The Arabian Nights In 'Ember In The Ashes'

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 5:03am

First-time novelist Sabaa Tahir creates Capital Letter Fantasy in An Ember in the Ashes, with rebel Scholars battling an ancient, brutal Empire. Critic Amal El-Mohtar calls it "frequently riveting."

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Ohio Kidnapping Survivors Recount Captivity, Escape From Horror

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 1:34pm

In 2013, three young women who had vanished years earlier escaped from a house where they had been held captive. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, along with writer Mary Jordan, discuss their new memoir.

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3,600-Page Autobiographical Novel Is An Honest And Masterful 'Selfie'

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 12:38pm

My Struggle is about Karl Ove Knausgaard's wrangle with his father, with death, with his muse and so on. The 46-year-old Norwegian's pointedly unliterary book has become a literary sensation.

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A Futuristic Private Eye Gets In Over Her Head In 'Depth'

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 8:00am

Lev AC Rosen's dystopian thriller, set in an underwater New York City, is an expert mix of the sci-fi and hardboiled genres. Reviewer Jason Heller calls it a nervy crime caper with hidden depths.

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'SuperMutant Magic Academy' Is Hogwarts With Nuts (And A Cherry)

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 5:03am

Kurt Vonnegut once famously described book critics as donning armor to battle a hot fudge sundae. Jillian Tamaki takes on Harry Potter in SuperMutant Magic Academy, but she's tossing marshmallows.

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Graphic Novel About Holocaust 'Maus' Banned In Russia For Its Cover

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 5:51pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with author and illustrator Art Spiegelman about how his book Maus, the very antithesis of Nazi propaganda, was purged from Moscow stores because of a swastika on the cover.

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What Luck! 'Early Warning' Continues Smiley's Farm Family Saga

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 5:03am

Readers eager to catch up with the Iowa farming family Jane Smiley introduced in Some Luck will enjoy the latest installment, which follows the five children off the farm and into the postwar era.

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'Ashley's War' Details Vital Work Of Female Soldiers In Afghanistan

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 1:49am

A new book looks at the women who served alongside elite special operations units in order to connect with a population that was off-limits to male soldiers: Afghan women.

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6 Novelists Withdraw From Event Honoring 'Charlie Hebdo' For Free Speech

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 8:00am

Peter Carey and Rachel Kushner are among those who are withdrawing in protest from the PEN American Center's annual gala. Kushner says she is uncomfortable with Charlie Hebdo's "cultural intolerance."

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